The San Diego region is home to a $14 billion-dollar maritime industry that accounts for some 45,000 jobs, but keeping employees in this vitally important field safe is a constant challenge.
To address the safety issues surrounding San Diego’s maritime industry, also known as the Blue Economy, University of California San Diego Extension is inviting regional maritime employees to participate in its free Maritime Safety Fest on Oct. 13 at Extension’s University City Center located at 6256 Greenwich Drive, San Diego, CA 92122.
Bob Harrell, a professional safety consultant and an instructor for UC San Diego’s OSHA Training Institute Education Center (OTIEC), said the event will feature local leaders in the maritime industry discussing the most pressing safety concerns.
Presenters will include representatives from the U.S. Navy and such maritime company’s as Bright Training Solutions, 3M, Safeway Scaffolding, FireIce Solutions, Ergodyne, HexArmor and H.M. Pitt Labs Inc.
“The purpose of the event is to bring together the maritime employees, safety people and the Navy to discuss ways of improving maritime safety and soliciting input from maritime employees on issues that are a challenge,” Harrell said.
The need for a deep understanding of maritime safety issues is also critical for career advancement for those who work in the field. A recent study conducted by the San Diego Workforce Partnership on the local Blue Economy found that nearly 91 percent of employers thought that knowledge of OSHA rules and practices was an important skill set to possess.
Harrell said he hopes the event will lead to new ideas and innovations on how to approach safety in San Diego’s growing maritime industry, which ranges from advanced manufacturing to tourism to technology.
“The goal is to develop a dialogue with the maritime industry to see if there should be additional maritime safety courses added to the UC San Diego OTIEC programs that will help employers improve their safety programs, thereby reducing injury and illness accidents,” said Harrell.
The Maritime Safety Fest was created in honor of the late UC San Diego Extension instructor, Jeff Lewis, who was the director of operations for Southwest Safety Services and had 30 years of experience in safety, engineering and management. He taught maritime, construction and general industry courses for the UC San Diego OTIEC for more than 10 years.
This free event recognizes Lewis’ legacy and dedication to the OTIEC maritime program which is co-sponsored by the Jeff Lewis Scholarship Fund. For more information, visit osha.ucsd.edu or call UC San Diego’s OSHA Training Institute Education Center at 800-358-9206.